Have you been out to your local Farmer’s Market this year? If not, here are 5 reasons why you should get out to one this weekend!
#1 Nothing Beats Farm Fresh!
Nothing against our local grocery stores, but their produce sections just can’t be beaten by the goodness of locally grown, farm fresh fruits and vegetables. In most cases, local farmers are out in the fields on the morning of the market, providing you with the best produce. Until you have bitten into a just off the vine cucumber, or fresh from the patch strawberry, you won’t know what you have been missing all these years.
#2 The Secret Ingredient is Love
Everyone can relate to the nostalgia and sinfully delicious tastes of freshly baked goods. Quite possibly the only thing that beats out that fresh from the vine cucumber is the right out of the oven taste of the freshly baked goods that can be found at a Farmer’s Market. Home cooked, all natural, and often organic foods of all kinds can be found as you walk around the various tables. You’ll find cookies, pies, brownies, bread, even honey and jams to delight your taste buds at any Farmer’s Market you go to.
#3 The Craftsmanship is Outstanding
If you have a hard time finding joy in the mass-produced rows of big box stores, it is definitely time to get out to a Farmer’s Market. From small trinkets, that are perfect for gifts to fantastic furniture that is built to last, you will be amazed by the uniqueness of every piece. Each, a labour of love with its own story to tell. Not only that, you will find an array of exciting products that you just can’t find anywhere else. Beautiful wind chimes made entirely of silver wear, or a recycled wine bottle flattened into cheese trays, discarded antiques given new life as lamps and bookcases, old-fashioned handcrafted wooden toys, and so much more.
#4 Attending Farmer’s Markets Helps Your Community
Farmer’s Markets are more than a place to purchase produce, baked goods and crafts. Digging deeper, Farmer’s Markets provide an outlet, and often, a testing ground for entrepreneurs to showcase their products. Everyone in a community benefits from a Farmer’s Market.
Vendors benefit because they use the market as a sole or first point of entry into a market. This is where they sell their goods with lower overhead and immediate feedback from their consumers. Consumers benefit by receiving access to fresh, locally produced food, products, and services. The one-on-one contact and communication with a producer brings a level of trust and knowledge that you can’t get in a department or grocery store. Finally, Farmer’s Markets help create a robust local economy by providing the venue for the original shop local campaign. Farmer’s Markets were around long before the big box entered the world.
#5 It’s One Big Social Gathering
In every small town, certain events can bring an entire community together. Farmer’s Markets are one prime example of this. Markets are a great place to gather, visiting with family and friends, enjoying the company of your neighbours, and getting to know locals that you just haven’t met yet. Farmer’s markets have a tendency to bring everyone out! Many of them even offer entertainment in the form of local musicians, actors, and artists signing and providing demonstrations of the art. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll find a market and a vendor who offers workshops and classes allowing you to try out a new skill during one of your visits.
Eastern Manitoba Farmer’s Market Locations
Beausejour Farmer’s Market
Location: East of junction Hwy 12 & 44 at Green Oak Gardens Greenhouse
Hours of Operation: Fridays from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
East Beaches Farmer’s Market
Location: Walter Whyte School on Hwy 59 & Jackfish Lake Rd.
Hours of Operation: Fridays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Elma Farmer's Market
Location: Hwy 15, Elma
Hours of Operation: Fridays from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Lac du Bonnet Farmer’s Market
Location: Community Centre Parking Lot 25 McArthur Ave.
Hours of Operation: Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Le Marche St. Malo Farmer’s Market
Location: 123 St. Malo St.
Hours of Operation: Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Pineridge Hollow Farmer’s Market
Location: 67086 Heatherdale Road, Oakbank
Hours of Operation: Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Southeast Farmer’s Market
Location: Hwy 12 on the corner of Prevost St., South Junction
Hours of Operation: Fridays from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Vita and Area Farmer’s Market
Location: Hwy 201, Vita
Hours of Operation: Friday’s from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.